Archives For March 2014

Calling all NYC Metro community activists (“voices of resistance”), families, students, civil rights advocates, voters, immigrant families, policymakers and legislators, union members, teachers, and faith leaders…

This rally and march is part of the national Testing Resistance & Reform Spring campaign. We aim to support the efforts of parents, teachers and community members to have public schools that work for the community.

Join us on May 17, 2014 in NYC!
City Hall Park (permit pending)

2:00 p.m.
Click here to RSVP Today! Continue Reading…

Stop and Reverse the Disappearing of Black and Latino Educators in NYC

Public Meeting Notice

 Join us to move NYC teacher diversity on to the Public Agenda

this spring through Diversity committee presentations to the new

Chancellor and Mayor.

Speak out at Panel for Educational Policy.

Outreach to educators, parents and students.

Information table at teacher certification exam sites.

Testimonials for Teachers Unite’s upcoming report.

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Time:    4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The Church of St. Luke and

St. Matthew’s Parish Hall

520 Clinton Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11238

(C train to Clinton/Washington stop.

Church is between Fulton St & Atlantic Ave).

A 42% decline in the number of new Black and Latino teachers hired to teach in NYC public schools since 2002 is movement in the wrong direction.

The DOE hires graduates from private universities over those from CUNY and SUNY.

A NYS teacher certification exam is not validated yet disproportionately excludes Black and Latino applicants.

Over 100 public schools have been closed in NYC’s Black and Latino communities.

Mayoral control over the DOE with its $25 billion yearly budget shuts out the voices and accountability to parents – over 80% of whom are Black, Latino and Asian.

Privately run charter schools are given a free ride to crowd existing public schools and to divide parents against parents.

The absence of DOE or mayoral oversight or direction to monitor and promote diversity in the teaching staff provides a cover for growing indifference and hostility to demands for equity.  “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

The undermining of teacher tenure, seniority and due process disproportionately impacts Black and Latino teachers, denigrates the teaching profession, inhibits student advocacy and contributes to chaos and demoralization in our public schools.

The disappearing of Black and Latino educators removes the most consistent advocates for a historically accurate, culturally relevant and inclusive curriculum.

Calling all “drum majors” for diversity now.  Join with educator, parent, student and community leaders to stop and reverse the disappearing of Black and Latino educators.

Endorsed by

  • Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence.
  • Coalition for Public Education.
  • Movement of Rank and File Educators.
  • National Black Education Agenda.
  • New York Collective of Radical Educators.
  • People Power.
  • Progressive Action Caucus.
  • Teachers Unite

Organized by:

The Teacher Diversity Committee (TDC) of NYC

 Email: [email protected]

 

moreunion-This list of the main improvements we would like to see in the 2014 NYC teachers’ contract was developed based on democratic discussion and a vote at the 1/18/2014 meeting of the Movement of Rank and File Educators. Join us to continue the discussion!

1. Improved Learning and Working Conditions: Our schools should have lower class sizes, and they should be fully funded and staffed with sufficient support services. Therapists, Guidance Counselors, and Special Educators should have reduced caseloads so our high-needs students get what they need to grow, and educators have enough time during the school day to complete necessary recordkeeping and planning.

2. A Better Evaluation System: Teachers should be part of the team that builds our new evaluation system. It should not be tied to high-stakes standardized test scores. Instead, each school’s staff should play an active role in choosing meaningful, student-friendly assessments that can be used to inform instruction and measure growth. Extra paperwork and quantitative data creation should be eliminated.

3. Competitive Salaries: We deserve full retroactivity and fair raises based on the rising cost-of-living, and to retain teachers. To demonstrate respect for all of our work, there should be a move toward salary equity for all UFT members.

4. Restoration of Due Process and Fairness: All teachers deserve to be treated fairly, thus our contract should restore the right to transfer and to grieve material in our files. Teachers should be considered innocent until proven guilty at 3020a hearings, and the “fair student funding” budget system (that penalizes hiring of experienced teachers) should be reversed. If enacted, these changes will effectively end the ATR crisis.

Please download a flyer-version of these ideas to spark discussion within your UFT chapter or community here! MORE Top 4 Contract Flyer. And, if you’re interested in thinking about an ideal contract in more detail, check out “The Contract NYC’s Educators Deserve” that we shared in an earlier blog post. You can also find more resources under the “Contract” tab above.

Panelists Anthony Lackhan, Marcus McArthur, Sean Petty, and moderator Kit Wainer sparked an insightful discussion about unity and fair contracts during the forum.

Panelists Anthony Lackhan, Marcus McArthur, Sean Petty, and moderator Kit Wainer sparked an insightful discussion about unity and fair contracts during the forum.

NEW YORK: Over 75 rank and file union members gathered on Thursday (3/7/2014) night to mobilize against

Those rank and file workers have already garnered over 1,000 signatures on a letter demanding that union leaders prioritize retroactive pay.  Furthermore, they urge Mayor de Blasio to stay true to his campaign promise of “ending the tale of two cities,” and ask him to demonstrate his commitment to ending income inequality, starting at the bargaining table.

The forum was organized by the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), the ACS Coalition of Union Members, 99 Pickets and rank and file activists from NYSNA, District Council 37, and the Professional Staff Congress.  Members of TWU Local 100, Organization of Staff Analysts, Teamsters Local 237, 1199 SIEU and other city unions were represented in a lively discussion.

“It’s clear that the anger that city workers feel about losing ground for the past five years is starting to find expression,” said Sean Petty, a nurse at the HHC. “The fact is that we’ve given up our free time, we’ve come in during snowstorms, we’ve stayed overnight in hospitals, and we’ve worked overtime to cleanup the city after Superstorm Sandy. That is being repaid with a new mayor who is saying there is not enough money for the raises we deserve. What tonight showed,” he continued, “is that there is a growing unrest among city workers and that we are not going to accept the status quo excuses from the administration.  It’s clear to all of us there is enough money to pay for the things that we all need, whether you are a city worker or depend on city services.”

Anthony Lackhan, a member of Local 1549, DC37 said,“Tonight I learned that there are a lot more of us willing to fight for what we’ve earned. I’m excited that I’m not alone and reinvigorated to find brothers and sisters of like mind.”

“Its okay for us to ask for more right now.  It’s OK for us to demand a strong middle class.  It’s our duty as public sector unions to demand it,” said Marcus McArthur, a city teacher and member of the MORE caucus of the UFT.

“De Blasio campaigned on a tale of two cities.  Well, here’s the other city coming forward,” said Lucy Herschel, a member of 1199 SEIU. “I don’t think I’ve ever been at a meeting of this many rank and file union members from different unions before,” she added.

“The thing we all have in common as teachers, as city workers, as nurses, is that we all care about the people we serve, and the people in our community care about our services, so we need to work together and really build locally.” said Rosie Frascella, a teacher and member of the MORE caucus of the UFT.

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The Movement of Rank and File Educators is the Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers.  For MORE information: http://morecaucusnyc.org/about/

 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMORE is running a slate of six candidates in the upcoming NYSUT elections for the Board of Directors. NYSUT is our state union that all UFT members belong to. The following statement is part of a series that will feature all six nominee’s election statements.
Only delegates elected in local union elections may vote in the NYSUT elections, not rank and file members. In the UFT’s case, all 800 NYSUT delegates are from the Unity caucus, even though MORE represents over 15% of working educators and over 40% of high school teachers based on the 2013 UFT elections results. The Unity caucus votes as a block, because each delegate must sign an oath to vote in UFT, NYSUT, and AFT assemblies as the caucus tells them to. We are running for “at-large” positions which means although we represent the UFT members of NYC, any NYSUT delegate from around the state may vote for these positions. The election is held at the April 5th NYSUT convention.
Please join us on March 8th at our general meeting to discuss and April 5th at the Midtown NY Hilton to distribute fliers for our campaign- more information will follow.

I am with the Movement of Rank and File Educators.  We’re running to uncage the sleeping tiger—the 600,000 strong NYSUT membership—to save our union and public education, a daunting task.

One side, backed by the UFT leadership’s Unity Caucus, pledges to “engage the Governor to address your concerns . . . hopefully to win him over.”  They want a seat at the table. We don’t need a seat at Cuomo’s table when our members and our students are being served up for dinner!

Instead, we must rebuild NYSUT for real grassroots union action. Vote James Eterno to help uncage the NYSUT tiger.

 
COHENMORE is running a slate of six candidates in the upcoming NYSUT elections for the Board of Directors. NYSUT is our state union that all UFT members belong to. The following statement is part of a series that will feature all six nominee’s election statements.
Only delegates elected in local union elections may vote in the NYSUT elections, not rank and file members. In the UFT’s case, all 800 NYSUT delegates are from the Unity caucus, even though MORE represents over 15% of working educators and over 40% of high school teachers based on the 2013 UFT elections results. The Unity caucus votes as a block, because each delegate must sign an oath to vote in UFT, NYSUT, and AFT assemblies as the caucus tells them to. We are running for “at-large” positions which means although we represent the UFT members of NYC, any NYSUT delegate from around the state may vote for these positions. The election is held at the April 5th NYSUT convention.
Please join us on March 8th at our general meeting to discuss and April 5th at the Midtown NY Hilton to distribute fliers for our campaign- more information will follow.

As a member of the MORE Caucus in NYC, I’ve noticed a stark disconnect between the rhetoric of our union leadership and the interests of working teachers. The Common Core is fundamentally undemocratic – not only in its implementation but in its conception. Handing teachers rigid, scripted curricula benefits corporate interests while neglecting students’ need for a developmentally-appropriate and well-rounded education. Teachers’ hands have been tied as the emphasis on testing and labeling harms the most vulnerable children. I am running for an At-Large Director position to advocate for teachers’ professional autonomy. Allow us to teach students, not standards.

 Francesco Portelos
MORE is running a slate of six candidates in the upcoming NYSUT elections for the Board of Directors. NYSUT is our state union that all UFT members belong to. The following statement is part of a series that will feature all six nominee’s election statements.
Only delegates elected in local union elections may vote in the NYSUT elections, not rank and file members. In the UFT’s case, all 800 NYSUT delegates are from the Unity caucus, even though MORE represents over 15% of working educators and over 40% of high school teachers based on the 2013 UFT elections results. The Unity caucus votes as a block, because each delegate must sign an oath to vote in UFT, NYSUT, and AFT assemblies as the caucus tells them to. We are running for “at-large” positions which means although we represent the UFT members of NYC, any NYSUT delegate from around the state may vote for these positions. The election is held at the April 5th NYSUT convention.
Please join us on March 8th at our general meeting to discuss and April 5th at the Midtown NY Hilton to distribute fliers for our campaign- more information will follow.

During my first years of teaching I missed almost every union meeting. “I’m a good teacher, why do I need the union?” I naively thought. After I raised concerns, I was targeted, removed from my teaching position, and exiled. I realized the importance of unions, and I ran and won the school chapter leader position from exile. As a member of the MORE Caucus in NYC, I have been mobilizing and supporting my school and other educators who read about my fight. My goal is to use my knowledge, leadership skills, and out-of-the-box thinking at the state level now.

 Jia Lee
MORE is running a slate of six candidates in the upcoming NYSUT elections for the Board of Directors. NYSUT is our state union that all UFT members belong to. The following statement is part of a series that will feature all six nominee’s election statements.
Only delegates elected in local union elections may vote in the NYSUT elections, not rank and file members. In the UFT’s case, all 800 NYSUT delegates are from the Unity caucus, even though MORE represents over 15% of working educators and over 40% of high school teachers based on the 2013 UFT elections results. The Unity caucus votes as a block, because each delegate must sign an oath to vote in UFT, NYSUT, and AFT assemblies as the caucus tells them to. We are running for “at-large” positions which means although we represent the UFT members of NYC, any NYSUT delegate from around the state may vote for these positions. The election is held at the April 5th NYSUT convention.
Please join us on March 8th at our general meeting to discuss and April 5th at the Midtown NY Hilton to distribute fliers for our campaign- more information will follow.

As a member of UFT’s MORE caucus, I am running for an At-Large Director position based on my firm belief that democratic engagement of our membership must be a top priority. Our leadership has been complicit with unresearched Race to the Top policies, diminishing our work to scripted curricula and directing incalculable resources away from enriching programs our schools need. The use of invalid standardized tests has put an entire generation of youth, educators, and schools at risk and has promoted a culture of fear. It is time for democratic policies that respect the diverse needs of New York’s public schools.

Mike Schirtzer - MORE Tshirt
MORE is running a slate of six candidates in the upcoming NYSUT elections for the Board of Directors. NYSUT is our state union that all UFT members belong to. The following statement is part of a series that will feature all six nominee’s election statements.